‘The Walking Dead’ episode 5 recap: ‘The Big Scary U’ features Negan’s confession to Father Gabriel

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” turned its focus to turmoil at The Sanctuary in the fifth episode of Season 8, titled “The Big Scary U.” After Alexandria flooded the Savior base with walkers, The Saviors are left stranded and scrambling for a plan. Meanwhile, Alexandria’s priest comes face to face with the series’ Big Bad. Read our recap of “The Walking Dead” Season 8, Episode 5 below.

Gregory Behind the Scenes – In a flashback set just before the events of the season premiere, Gregory (Xander Berkeley) wakes up at The Sanctuary. Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) holds court at a meeting with his inner circle. Gregory tries to convince them he can stop his people’s uprising before it begins. He claims he will exile any Hilltop citizen standing up to The Saviors, but Negan is unconvinced that Gregory still has a hold on the Hilltop. Simon (Steven Ogg) proposes rallying forces around Gregory, but Negan becomes furious at Simon’s overstep. Negan informs them of a more sinister plan: to take “Rick, the Widow, and The King alive” and force everyone to watch as he kills them “in the wrongest way possible.”

Gabriel’s Purpose – Yet another flashback focuses on Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) in the Alexandria church, asking God for a sense of purpose so he doesn’t die for nothing. In the present day, Gabe is trapped in a trailer with Negan, so death might be around the corner. Negan rushes the priest and slams him to the ground. But Negan is too intrigued to kills his prey. “Why would you stop for that beardless prick?” Negan asks, referring to Gabriel’s rescue of Gregory. Gabriel reveals he fears a fruitless death, and while listening to the dead clawing at the walls has a sudden revelation. “I think I’m here to take your confession.”

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Explosive Confrontation – Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) confront the dying truck driver they chased down in the previous episode, who informs the duo that The Kingdom army has all been massacred. Daryl heads to the truck to grab a bag of explosives. He wants to reduce The Sanctuary to rubble for revenge, but Rick suddenly has pity for the innocent workers stationed there. It’s slightly unclear why flooding the space with zombies is okay and using dynamite is not, but the dynamic duo ends up brawling over their clashing views. In the scuffle, Rick tosses the bag of explosives toward the truck, which ignites and explodes.

Weakness – Negan, who doesn’t “have shit to confess” asks Gabriel why he became a priest. According to “Gabey” he loves God and people, and had a desire to help them through their weaknesses. In an effort to gain a confession, he calls Negan weak for killing innocents. Negan rebuffs him by describing The Sanctuary as an unorganized collection of gangs before he took charge. The old leader allowed people to be weak, but Negan rose to power and forced them to be strong. Gabriel persists in his questioning as zombies attempt to break in. An inquiry about Negan’s wives infuriates him, and Gabriel uses the moment to grab his gun and flee into the bedroom of the trailer. The noise makes the walkers more agitated and limbs start crashing through the walls.

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Suspect #1 – The Saviors inner circle debates how to proceed, believing their leader might have been overrun by the undead. Regina (Traci Dinwiddle) proposes using the workers to to clear out the zombies, but Dwight (Austin Amelio) simply wants to abandon the facility. Gavin (Jayson Warner Smith) is convinced there is a mole in their ranks, since Rick was able to bypass all their lookouts. The group agrees, and Simon seems convinced that Eugene (Josh McDermitt) is the spy in question. Later, Eugene heads to Dwight’s room to try and find an ally. Eugene takes note of Dwight’s DIY chess set and, acknowledging he is suspect number 1, agrees to back Dwight’s plan in exchange for protection.

Negan’s Confession – Knowing that the only method of escape is to work together, Negan finally provides Gabe with a confession. He did indeed have a “real” wife before the world fell apart. He lied during their marriage and cheated on her, and when she died of sickness after the zombie outbreak hit, he was unable to put her down. This satisfies Gabriel, who returns Negan’s gun. The two grab a walker from the hole in the wall and cover themselves in guts. They slowly make their way outside and through the throng of walkers, but Gabriel trips and falls. Zombies are alerted and the men fight for their lives as the dead swarm around them.

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Revolt – A different swarm is happening inside The Sanctuary, as the workers stage an uprising. They refuse to stay on the lower levels of the building, and ignore Simon’s commands. The workers want to know whether Negan is alive and one pulls out a pistol. But Regina is a quicker draw and guns him down, shouting “I am Negan!” Before the situation spirals further out of control, Negan rounds the corner with Gabriel, having survived the herd of zombies. “Thank God for you, Negan,” cries a worker, and the group settles down. Later, Dwight brings the gunman’s bag to a meeting and the inner circle ponders how the worker got ahold of weapons. Eugene spots red paint on the bag, the same shade Dwight used on his chess set. Now that Eugene has discovered the mole, what will he do with the information?

Get the Doctor – Eugene attempts to give Gabriel a welcome package for his stay in a Sanctuary cell. He knocks on the door, with pillow and blankets in hand, but gets no response. When he opens the cell, he’s confronted with a shaking and sweating Gabriel. It’s unclear if Gabriel is sick or faking (or dealing with a zombie bite), but Eugene says he has to get to Dr. Carter. “That’s Maggie’s doctor,” Gabe sputters through his shaking, “That’s why I’m here. We have to get him to her.” Will this be Father Gabriel’s final act?

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